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Rwanda achieves electricity connection milestone

According to the Rwandan prime minister, Anastase Murekezi, government has over the last seven years made remarkable progress in connecting people to electricity.

Speaking in Parliament, Murekezi said the number of Rwandans connected to power has increased from 10.8% in 2010 to the current 34.5%, the New Times reported.

He said: “Currently, we have 208.36MWof hydro power and 98.68MW from solar, methane gas, peat and generators. In the last seven years, we increased the energy supply from 97MW in 2010 to 208.36MW presently.”

[quote]The Prime Minister noted that though the government had given itself a target of increasing energy levels to at least 563MW and to supply it to 70% of the population, achieving this required a total of $3.2 billion.

“Energy generation and distribution is an extremely costly venture and the money to inject in such projects cannot be mobilised at once. For instance, to get one megawatt, it requires $4 million.

“Connecting one home requires $1,000 (about Rfw840,000). Of this amount, a subscriber’s contribution is only Rfw56,000, ($67,000) which is not even 10%,” Murekezi said.

Nationwide electricity connections

According to media, in the last seven years, the energy sector has used a budget of Rwf881.7 billion ($1 billion).

To fix the financing issues, the government now partners with the private sector, media highlighted.

The Prime Minister also outlined several other challenges, including lack of adequate and timely reparations in areas where activities connected to energy are about to take place.

He also cited the challenge of many people living in scattered settlements, which makes it hard for the government to collectively connect them to electricity.

Off-grid solutions

ESI Africa previously reported that the new Rwanda Energy Group (REG) chief executive, Ron Weiss, revealed that off-grid solutions forms part of the utility’s plans to achieving the 563MW target set for next year. Read more…

Upon assuming office in May, Weiss said: “I am familiar with the targets of this country. I am in the process of looking into the feasibility of the target so I can recommend to the minister what to do next.”


Featured image: Shuttterstock

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.